Cassava Growth Markets

Improving the livelihoods of smallholder cassava farmers through better access to growth markets

Cassava production, processing and marketing provides a major source of income for 450 million people, often women and the poorest in Sub-Saharan Africa, and many others in South and South-East Asia. Cassava is not only strategically important as a food source and famine reserve, combining high calorific efficiency with versatile low cost/input, reliable and flexible production, but is now seen as a pro-poor vehicle for economic development.

However, cassava farmers, particularly from remote areas, have restricted market access for their produce. Roots are highly perishable, bulky and expensive to transport, and the crop has low multiplication rates due to competition with higher-value and high-status crops.

If large enterprises start using cassava flour and its products, and large numbers of small farmers can supply this new demand, a substantial number of sustainable, market led, new livelihood opportunities will be created.

The main objective of Cassava GMarkets is to empower smallholder farmers in the access to markets, to enable the farmers to generate cash income from selling produce at markets leading to greater stability of income and increased agricultural production and diversity.

The overall results will focus on improvements to HQCF and related product value chains enabling smallholder farmers to benefit from improved market for their produce.

To achieve this result, the main activities include laboratory, pilot plant and participatory field/factory research within the value chains established by Cassava:Adding Value for Africa project, validation of research outputs in the value chains and documentation/dissemination of best practice guidance through a Community of Practice developed as part of an EC Science and Technology Project.

This project delivers international public goods within the value chains for High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) and related products to benefit small-holder farmers to enable them to enhance their food security (through cassava availability) and increases their incomes through obtaining new income from their cassava crop. The value chain provides the opportunity to not only contribute to economic growth by improving the incomes of farmers, but also by providing employment opportunities, by improving the balance of payments by reducing imports of for example wheat (for which HQCF can partially substitute). The proposed action is being developed within the context of the impact and need to adapt to climate change.

Project facts:
• Start date: 30 May 2012
• Duration: 4 years, 7 months
• End date: 29 December 2016
• Project status: Execution
• Project funding: €2,888,488

Relation to other root and tuber crop projects

Cassava G Markets links with C:AVA, a development project aimed to improve the livelihoods of poor farmers through linking them to markets for high quality cassava flour and related products. Cassava G Markets picks up the key research issues that C:AVA does not address (C:AVA is not a research project), to enable the expansion of the impact and replication of such value chain projects. The project will also share outputs with the EU FP7 Gratitude project contributing to reduced impact on the environment.